TOWN-PLANNING UNDER FERDINAND IV

During the 18th century the Gulf of Naples, because of its great beauty, became one of the favorite scenarios preferred by painters, who painted it from the sea, from the beach of Chiaia and the Carmine Castle, in painting depictions rich of movement for the presence of sailing ships, fishing boats, in a Naples portrayed in its most fascinating aspects, on a background composed of terraces overlooking the sea alternating with domes seeming to disappear behind the imposing Bourbon buildings.

In the second half of the 1700 the attention focused on the problem of clutter buildings that plagued the city . Thus without having tangible results given the complete aversion of the clergy and private citizens, who saw in the building regulations a great loss of earnings .

In 1760 there was the final arrangement of the Square Mercatello on which faced the Royal Gate leading to Toledo Street, and of Gate Alba (Port’Alba) set in an ancient Angevin tower .

Although the area not far from Tribunali Street would fit in an urban arrangement, it remained within the walls, stemmed from the major roads of communication. After the demolition of the Royal Gate the square will be the natural continuation of Toledo Street.

Between 1778 and 1780, the construction of the Royal Villa in the Riviera di Chiaia was very important, remaining today the only public garden in the city that was originally planned as a garden. Ferdinand IV entrusted Carlo Vanvitelli with the construction of the garden.

Vanvitelli was inspired by French gardens tracing five long avenues adorned with fountains, statues of mythological figures and benches. The main feature of the park was the direct contact with the sea, there was a double row of bleachers on the outer side of the avenue, which were used as seats, from which it was possible to observe the splendor of the bay and the beach.

The Vanvitelli structure was altered for the extension works of the gardens during the 1800s .

In 1779 Ferdinand IV divided the city into 12 districts supervised by the Criminal Judge of the High Court and the affixing of house numbers and street signs for a better knowledge of the city and a better control of the citizens.

S.Leucio

S.Leucio

A very important planning event happened in 1781 because of Francesco Sicuro, who, after a fire, took charge of rebuilding the Market Square . Sicuro replaced the wooden huts with shops masonry arranged in a rectangular pattern, whose center is a large exedra . The main entrance was placed on the Seaside street, with the presence of two large fountains.

In 1781 a decree was issued to get knowledge about the building situation in Naples, resulting in a demeaning context, where corruption was the main protagonist and crashes and injuries were caused by frequent and often, short time house building by people who boasted but were not entitled to.

The situation degenerated to the point that the adoption of the constitution of Zeno, adopted in the fifth century in Constantinople to reduce abuses in height, was suggested. The proposal was rejected by the House of St. Chiara who merely asserted the non-binding habits of common sense.

In these same years St. Leucio near Caserta was built, on the basis of a new model of community organization, founded on work and equality. St. Leucio became part of the Bourbon properties assets and of the Vanvitelli plan, where it was to be connected to the Palace by long straight avenues .

The properties were enlarged ant the first factories and farms were built. In the area development kept going on thanks to the establishment of foreign masters who favored the growing of new techniques .

In 1779 the Leucian Statute was issued, which the construction of a new Ferdinandopole worker center was connected to.

The Neapolitan intellectuals complained about a lack of attention to the city from the King. Vincenzo Ruffo in 1789 published a paper setting out the capital’s urban problems and how these could have been solved. The script is the only work of the 1700 trying to solve problems of the capital. Ruffo criticized the urban structure of the extremely chaotic small streets, and refusing any urban intervention prior to the Bourbon period, even Charles and Ferdinand were criticized for their marginal attention to the city center itself, leaving unchanged the pattern of narrow and twisty small raods.

To solve the urban problem Ruffo fixed four basic points: entrances, roads, palaces and buildings.

The main accesses to the city should be regular shaped squares, from which straight lined and tree sided roads started, creating junctions between the city center and the surrounding area.

Ruffo intended these points as simple tips to the authorities and hoped that one day there might be a man able to realize some results. Vincenzo Ruffo also examined the economic aspect of his program and argued that the Charities Institutes should finance the works, rather than “keep groups of poor idle”, while the area for the new squares would have been achieved by the demolition of monasteries, if that was needed.

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